Tuesday 30 September 2014

Axemaster 2014 – Part 3

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Axemaster 2014. You can find the previous part of the report here.

Game 3
Steve Tuck, Ogre Kingdoms
  • Tyrant with Armour of Protection, Great Weapon
  • Slaughtermaster (Level 4, Lore of the Great Maw) with Talisman of Preservation, Dispel Scroll
  • Bruiser BSB with Armour of Silvered Steel, Great Weapon
  • Butcher (Level 1, Lore of Beasts) with Hellheart
  • 8 Ironguts with Full Command
  • 9 Ogres with Full Command, Light Armour, Ironfists
  • 10 Leadbelchers with Musician, Champion
  • 10 Gnoblars
  • 10 Gnoblars
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • Ironblaster
  • Ironblaster
Comp Score: 2

From an Ogre army with no Ironblasters to one with a pair of them, Steve's list represented much of what my Griffons had been hoping (admittedly optimistically) to avoid. This game was particularly notable as I think it contained the only roll-off I lost for the tournament (Steve won the roll-off to choose the deployment rules despite my +2 modifier, and went for Battle for the Pass).
So I'm completely done deploying, and he's put down what? Anything..?

Monday 29 September 2014

Axemaster 2014 – Part 2

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Axemaster 2014. You can find the previous part of the report here.

Game 2
Josh Tucker, Ogre Kingdoms
  • Slaughtermaster (Level 4, Lore of the Great Maw) with Talisman of Preservation, Great Weapon
  • Bruiser BSB with Armour of Destiny, Great Weapon
  • Firebelly (Level 2, Lore of Fire) with 2 Hand Weapons, Dispel Scroll?
  • 9 Ironguts with Full Command, Standard of Discipline
  • 8 Ogres with Full Command, Light Armour, Ironfists
  • 6 Leadbelchers
  • 4 Mournfangs with Ironfists, Standard, Musician, Dragonhide Banner
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • Stonehorn
  • Stonehorn
Comp Score: 5
Yup, 2 Stonehorns. Now that is classy.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Axemaster 2014 – Part 1

Well Axemaster is done and dusted, so it's time for another tournament report!

This time around the event was something a bit unusual in the local scene. It was run based on the SCGT pack, which allocates comp scores using "hard" and "soft" selections. The comp scores have no impact on overall score, but are instead used to modify roll-offs to determine what deployment rules will be used, table sides, and the first turn. That being the case, there was a good argument for fielding a pretty hard list, provided that you didn't care much about going first. Naturally I ignored this perfectly sound reasoning and entered a comp 9 out of 10 list.
2 Griffons, 3 little Wizards, 9 comp and 0 chance of doing really well in an event like this...

I've put my list up before, but here it is again:
  • General of the Empire
    • General; Great Weapon; Full Plate Armor; Shield
    • White Cloak of Ulric
    • Imperial Griffon
  • General of the Empire
    • Great Weapon; Full Plate Armor; Shield
    • Ironcurse Icon
    • Dragonhelm
    • Imperial Griffon
  • Captain of the Empire
    • Lance; Full Plate Armor; Battle Standard
    • Enchanted Shield
    • Talisman of Preservation
    • Imperial Pegasus
    • Swift as the Winds
  • Luthor Huss
    • Barding; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Warhorse
  • Battle Wizard (Level 2, Lore of Light)
  • Battle Wizard (Level 2, Lore of Metal)
  • Battle Wizard (Level 1, Lore of Beasts)
    • Dispel Scroll
  • 14 Knights of the Inner Circle
    • Barding; Lance; Full Plate Armor; Shield; Standard; Musician; Preceptor
    • The Steel Standard
  • 40 Halberdiers
    • Halberd; Light Armour; Standard; Musician
    • 5 Detachment - Archers
    • 5 Detachment - Archers
  • 5 Demigryph Knights
    • Barding; Lance; Shield; Standard; Musician
    • Banner of Swiftness
  • Steam Tank
Comp score: 9

Anyway, that's what I had to work with. On with the show!

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Lores of Magic: The Lore of Undeath

Well, this is something a little different. The new Warhammer: Nagash book contains a lot of rules for special characters, new units and combining the Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings armies into a single more powerful army called the Undead Legions. It also includes a new Lore of Magic - the Lore of Undeath.

As usual, I thought I would go through this new Lore and see what it has to offer. It's worth noting that, as with everything in the Warhammer: Nagash book, there is likely to be some debate as to whether these spells (and the Undead Legions) are going to be permitted in tournaments. The content of the book is intended to represent a particular time period and set of events, and so many people may feel it's not appropriate for them to be used in what might otherwise be considered "normal" games. Anyway, I'm not going to get into that here. Let's focus on the new Lore of Magic.

Before we begin, there is something else unusual about this Lore that I should mention - all wizards in all armies can use it. So there could be Orcs, Elves, Daemons, Skaven, and all manner of other spellcasters running around, using the Lore of Undeath. So unless you're a Dwarf player, this Lore applies to you!

One other note is that the summoning spells in the Lore of Undeath work differently from any we've seen before in the various Undead Lores of Magic. Instead of creating a specific type of unit (such as Zombies) and a particular number of models or wounds, the spells here work on points values. It's an elegant way to broaden the scope of different units you can create, as well as giving you the option to give them the sort of equipment such a regiment could normally buy (like command models or weapons). The only restriction is that the unit still has to meet the normal minimum size, so you can't go around raising 3 Grave Guard or something silly like that. Other than that, you could see all manner of new units appearing on the table (provided that you have suitable models on hand).

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Birdy, birdy, birdy (AKA my Axemaster list)

My, how time flies. I still hadn't finished writing up my report of Rumble in the Bronx when I realised that I had to submit a list for Axemaster. The tournaments are only 3 weeks apart this year, which is a very short turn-around. I was a bit burnt out after my mad rush to prepare for Rumble, and I came faily close to deciding that I wasn't going to enter Axemaster at all.

It didn't help that I'm not at all convinced by the player pack being used this time around. It's using the SCGT pack, which doesn't include comp to directly affect scores per se. Instead a higher comp score gives a player a better chance to win roll-offs to determine deployment, first turn, etc. It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure if it will make enough of a difference, and I'm also not convinced by the "hard" and "soft" choices identified for each army.

Anyway, in the end I decided that I could handle what might turn out to be a flawed pack, and that I really should enter what is basically our main local tournament (given it's run by Hampton). So I sat down and started making a sensible list that exploited the player pack the way most of the competitive sorts will be doing. Then I got bored, scrapped it all, and started making a list packed with Griffons instead. The flying Tyrant at Rumble had gotten me hooked on flying models, and I wanted some in my list - despite knowing what would likely happen to them.
Like the old saying goes, 2 wrongs make a right. I'm sure that's how it went...

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 6

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Rumble in the Bronx. You can find the previous game here.

Game 6: Battleline
Nathan Goodchild, Daemons of Chaos
My Boast: Hold Out (keep enemy units out of my deployment zone)
  • Demon Prince of Nurgle (Level 3, Lore of Nurgle) with Flight, Chaos Armour, Exalted Gift (chose something that lets him re-roll Winds of Magic)
  • Herald of Tzeentch (Level 2, Lore of Tzeentch)
  • Herald of Nurgle BSB (Level 1, Lore of Nurgle) with Greater Locus of Fecundity, Greater Gift (chose Fencer's Blades)
  • 10 Horrors with Standard
  • 25 Plaguebearers with Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • 3 Screamers of Tzeentch
  • 3 Screamers of Tzeentch
  • 1 Beast of Nurgle
  • 1 Beast of Nurgle
  • Soulgrinder of Nurgle with Daemonbone Claw, Harvester Cannon
Comp score: 5

After the debacle of the game against Chris, I figured I would drop back into the pack a bit. Apparently this wasn't really the case as there were a group of us milling about on very similar scores, with just Chris running off with things courtesy of the springboard I had provided. My final opponent was to be Nathan Goodchild, who had travelled all the way down from Queensland for the event. I had never played him before, so was looking forward to it. I could only lament how much tougher my draw had gotten in the latter stages of the event, however. My final 4 opponents had all either been ranked no 1 in the country or won the Masters in relatively recent memory. No wailing upon inexperienced tournament players for me, it seemed.

Nathan was running a borrowed Daemon army for the event, as his Skaven had been unable to make the trip with him. The borrowed army was not really holding him back, however. If his dice had been a little better in the previous game, he would have been well ahead of me instead of barely in front.

I confess I was slightly concerned about the match-up. The big block of Plaguebearers looked nigh-on impregnable for my army, and the Soulgrinder was not exactly a push-over. I was at a big disadvantage in the magic phase, and then there was the Nurgle Daemon Prince. Oh well, at least he wasn't the 1+ armour save, unbreakable, self-healing Warriors of Chaos version. Still, I would need a good contribution from my Ironblaster to help soften the big stuff.
During the Ogres' first turn, because once again I got distracted and missed the deployment photos. That big rock thing adds +1 to any attempts to wound things within 6". Same thing as was on the table in game 3.

Monday 8 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 5

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Rumble in the Bronx. You can find the previous game here.

Game 5: Watchtower
Chris Cousens, Lizardmen
My Boast: Contain Power (kill the most expensive non-character unit, in this case the Saurus block)
  • Oldblood on Arabyan Carpet with Armour of Destiny, Great Weapon, Shield
  • Oldblood on Cold One with Dragonhelm, Talisman of Preservation, Great Weapon
  • Tetto-Ekko
  • Scar Veteran BSB on Cold One with Charmed Shield, Dawnstone, Sword of Might, Light Armour
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
  • 10 Skinks with Musician
  • 10 Skinks with Musician
  • 23 Saurus with Full Command
  • 5 Cold One Riders with Musician, Spears
  • 5 Chameleon Skinks
  • Salamander
  • Ancient Stegadon with Engine of the Gods
Comp score: 5

I had emerged from my game with Dave with my score more or less intact, and now I found myself playing the old Egg himself, Chris Cousens. This was the man responsible for my Tyrant flying about on a magic carpet, having issued a challenge to all and sundry before the event to include a model on a flying rug (only a couple of us were silly enough to accept). He was also leading the tournament. Apparently I really was at the pointy end of things.
Watchtower deployment, after Chris has moved his Vanguard forces up between the building and the magical rock that lets things within 6" re-roll failed charges.

Friday 5 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 4

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Rumble in the Bronx. You can find the previous game here.

Game 4: Battle for the Pass
Dave Duriesmith, Ogre Kingdoms
My Boast: Reconnoitre (control the most table quarters at game's end)
  • Tyrant with Great Weapon, Crown of Command, Dragonbane Gem, Armour of Destiny
  • Bruiser BSB with Great Weapon, Luckstone, Armour of Silvered Steel
  • Firebelly (Level 2, Lore of Fire) with Talisman of Preservation, Great Weapon
  • 11 Ironguts with Full Command
  • 6 Leadbelchers with Musician, Champion
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • Gorger
  • Gorger
  • Gorger
  • Ironblaster
Comp score: 3

I had been hoping to avoid Dave's list, because the stubborn Gutstar was something I simply would not be able to crack. Never mind, I'd just have to make the best of it. At least I was guaranteed at least 4 points because of our comp scores...

To his credit, Dave didn't deploy all his characters in the Irongut unit. The BSB went in there, but the Firebelly and Tyrant decided it would be cooler to hang with the Leadbelchers. Or maybe it wasn't really to his credit because he realised he didn't need all that stuff in one place in order to take on my units...
You'd think by now I would remember to take photos before the game kicked off. Hey, it was first thing in the morning. This was during my first turn.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 3

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Rumble in the Bronx. You can find the previous game here.

Game 3: Meeting Engagement
Ben Leopold, High Elves
My Boast: Bodyguard (keep my general alive)
  • Archmage (Level 4, High Magic) on Sun Dragon with Talisman of Preservation
  • Noble BSB on Griffon with Swift Sense, Swooping Strike, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance, Lion Cloak, Banner of the World Dragon
  • Mage (Level 1, Lore of Metal) with Ruby Ring of Ruin, Dispel Scroll
  • 10 Archers with Standard, Musician
  • 10 Archers with Standard, Musician
  • 6 Silver Helms with Shields, Full Command
  • 5 Ellyrian Reavers with Standard, Musician
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Frostheart Phoenix
  • Great Eagle
Comp score: 3

After playing two people I had never met before, I was suddenly faced with someone far more familiar. In fact, some of the models were very familiar too, since they were mine. I might have been involved in the idiot planning that saw Ben enter a list with a Banner of the World Dragon floating about on a Griffon, but despite the obvious dangers, he seemed to be enjoying it.

We would be playing Meeting Engagement (the one with the crazy diagonal deployment), and we found ourselves on a weird and slightly dreadful table with incredibly rough sand and an enormous rocky thing cutting the table in half. I won the roll-off for sides, and decided to try to take the big rock out of the equation by taking a corner that put most of it in my deployment zone. With an enormous ruined building next to it, that basically ensured that we were playing on a 4'x4' board. I then placed my army, with my regular Ogre Bulls and Sabretusks starting in reserve because they rolled 1s.
I deploy aggressively on the slightly weird table.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 2

This post is part 2 of my account of a recent tournament. You can find part 1 here.

Game 2: Blood and Glory
Corey Leslie, Lizardmen
My Boast: Breakthrough (have a unit into the enemy's deployment zone at game's end)
  • Slann Mage Priest (Level 4, High Magic) with Focus of Mystery, Becalming Cogitation, BSB, Standard of Discipline
  • Saurus Oldblood with Crown of Command, Light Armour, Great Weapon
  • 40 Saurus Warriors with Spears, Full Command
  • 26 Temple Guard with Full Command
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
  • 3 Kroxigor
  • Bastiladon with Solar Engine
  • 5 Chameleons
  • 5 Chameleons
Comp score: 5

This match-up worried me slightly with the magical prowess of the Slann, and at least one unit I couldn't face. With the Oldblood at their head, those Saurus could take my entire army...
This is me almost remembering to take photos before the game began...

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 1

Rumble in the Bronx is over, and despite being exhausted for the entire weekend (too much late night painting and modelling will do that to you), I had a great time. Despite my doubts, I did manage to get my entire army ready in time for the tournament, so apart from not getting anywhere near enough sleep, I was all prepared for the event.

I've shown my list before, but here it is again for convenience:
  • Tyrant
    • General; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour
    • Arabyan Carpet (He can FLY!!)
    • Talisman of Preservation
    • Enchanted Shield
  • Bruiser
    • Great Weapon; Battle Standard
    • Armour of Fortune
  • Firebelly
    • Magic Level 1; Lore of Fire
    • Ruby Ring of Ruin
  • Hunter
    • Great Weapon; Light Armour; Great Throwing Spear
    • Longstrider
  • 6 Ironguts
    • Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Standard; Musician; Gutlord
  • 6 Ogres
    • Iron Fist; Light Armour; Standard; Musician; Crusher
  • 3 Mournfang Cavalry
    • Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Standard; Musician
    • Gleaming Pendant
  • 4 Sabretusk Pack
  • 4 Leadbelchers
    • Light Armour; Musician
  • 1 Ironblaster
Total Army Cost: 1999pts

I ended up getting a 7 out of 10 for composition, meaning the panel had deemed my list to be pretty rubbish. The reasons for this were that I wasn't really using any of the generally acknowledged strengths of the Ogre list, apart from an Ironblaster. My flying Tyrant and Hunter meant I couldn't pour all my characters into a single “Gutstar” unit. I had little magic and no dispel scroll. All my Sabretusks were in a single unit rather than running around separately as dirt cheap annoyances. And my Mournfangs had great weapons, meaning they were not very well protected. All good reasons to doubt my army could do the business, but I was pretty happy with the high comp score anyway.
My 2000 point empire-themed Ogre army.
Rumble used an unusual scoring system. Instead of the 20-0 system which is most common in this part of the world, the score range was 16-0 (with 8-8 being a draw). In addition to this however, both players had to choose a “boast” at the start of each game. Achieving your stated boast got you an additional 2 battle points, whilst denying your opponent their boast got you another 2. You couldn't use the same boast twice in the event – you had to use all 6 once. So the total possible score was still 20, before comp. Unusually, comp modifiers could push you above 20 points for the round, although you couldn't get less than 0.

Here is my account of the event. As usual, most army lists will be from memory, so forgive me if they're not entirely correct. I've got 130 photos to post all told, so I'll be splitting the games up into separate posts to help make the pages load OK. The venue was quite dark, so you'll have to forgive my amateurish efforts to take photos under the conditions.

Monday 1 September 2014

Painted Empire Ogre Characters

Well this post may be a little late, but in the end my painting was not - I managed to undercoat and paint these 3 guys on Friday night, and was finally able to head to bed a little after 1am. I was tired all weekend, but at least I achieved my goal of having the army ready for Rumble.

Anyway, here is how the group of them came out...
3 painted Ogre characters - Tyrant on flying carpet, BSB and Hunter. Not bad for a night's work.